PTV learns on the job with Euro 2012

Published: June 26, 2012
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They also seem to have dedicated a person to press the censor button whenever a fan in the audience shows off some extra skin. ILLUSTRATION: ZAHRA PEER

After realising the money in broadcasting sport events last year and in spite of still not knowing enough about the sport, the state-owned channel PTV has coveted the exclusive rights to air the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as the Euro 2012.

Everything seemed to be running normally during the opening ceremony of the Euro 2012; not very sharp picture quality, but nothing one couldn’t live without. The opening match, however, was an entirely different story as it brought with it a shock that was not part of the actual match.

Confused? There was no scorecard displayed on the screen and with no half-time show there was just no way to find out what the score was other than waiting for the commentator to shout out:

If you have just tuned in, the score is 2-1!

The next match followed suit until someone brought it to their attention ─ I doubt they had figured it out on their own. After realising that football matches need a scorecard displayed on the screen, the state-owned channel that made a Rs2.4 billion revenue in 2011, took the scorecard of the most similar sport it shows and changed in into one for football ─ a hockey scorecard. So instead of the time going up to 45 minutes, the clock started at 45 minutes and went down to zero.

Some disgruntled football fan must have brought this to their attention and explained the ‘mix-up’. So the next day we found that they had fixed the clock and now it started from zero and counted up. The management, however, almost always fails to synchronise its clock with the game and ends up starting their second half clock almost half a minute earlier.

Amazed? Don’t be yet. There’s still more to the story.

The newly revamped channel decided to spice up the boring opening day of football by showing commercials while the match was still taking place! So, instead of watching what’s going on in the match, the entire country was finding out what the latest SMS tariff was and missing the first goal of the tournament scored by Polish striker Lewandowski to earn his team a draw.

The group stages are over now and so is most of the drama. Timers have been synchronised and the scorecard is working in the right direction. Interestingly, they also seem to have dedicated a person to press the censor button whenever a fan in the audience shows off some extra skin.

Only in Pakistan, I tell you.

The ICC Cricket World 2011 generated almost half of PTV’s total revenues of Rs1.1 billion in financial year 2011 and helped the channel meet its revenue target after years. It also brought a change in the management’s perception about airing sports.

It seems the channel’s management is still struggling with familiarising itself with the sport while the sport viewers are getting to know the channel. Football fans in particular should start getting used to the orange and silver logo as there are talks that the state-owned channel is going to try and get exclusive rights to air the English Premier League ─  the most watched football league in the world – by next year.

Hopefully, it will be better managed than this has been and not a cause of heartache for the fans who are watching their favourites create history.

Read more by Faseeh here.

Do you think PTV has done a good job in its broadcasting of the Euro 2012?

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faseeh.mangi

Faseeh Mangi

A senior sub-editor on the business desk of The Express Tribune who is currently finishing a masters degree in Business Administration.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.footballsitrep.com Ahmad

    Quite frankly, PTV has been a Godsend this summer! Otherwise me and a lot of other footy fans in Pakistan would’ve probably been stuck with crappy, laggy, low-res internet streams in order to watch the Euros.

    PTV, you have been a life-saver! I am a fan once more!Recommend

  • Salman Khan

    Some of the channels that show live sports in Pakistan are a disgrace. The private channel that has ‘exclusive’ rights to Pakistan Cricket matches shows advertisments that often chip off bits of the game at the start and end of the over. This has to change. We should have the option of viewing more sports channel. Watchin Live sports has been a headache ever since the government banned some major broadcasting networks from cable TV.Recommend

  • Usman

    Seriously ET? You should appreciate a good effort for once. PTV showing Euro is a blessing in disguise. Not everyone has a good internet connection to stream these matches.Recommend

  • sajid

    Atlest they broadcast it. instead of watching your sh***yy talk shows i would prefer euro on PTV.Recommend

  • Rameez

    Alls well that ends well with the Euros. But I’m more concerned with PTV getting rights for the Premier League. Time to get a high speed internet connectionRecommend

  • londonistani

    PTV is trashRecommend

  • Saim Saeed

    Faseeh,

    The most incredible thing about your article is probably how level-headed you have been about the entire affair. I would have used language a lot more colorful than you have.

    Firstly, to those who thank PTV for simply airing the tournament, I don’t think it really is a big deal. All one needs to do is to pay off the relevant suppliers and monopolize the market, which they subsequently did. What makes coverage good is everything a channel does on top of broadcasting it. Whoever is in charge of this broadcast has obviously never seen football coverage. Apart from the the faults that you have pointed out, there are a few things that have been either missing, or in abundance. But in either case, have rendered PTV’s coverage an unmitigated catastrophe:

    Firstly, the Euro-watching target audience is one that has grown up watching ESPN’s coverage of Premier League, so there is little room for experimentation, and here’s where they got it wrong:
    1. PTV has muted the sounds of the stadium, with only the commentary coming through. Meaning that the audience has no idea regarding the atmosphere of the stadium as PTV neuters the collective voice thousands of fans in charged games like Russia and Poland’s.
    2. No half-time – or post-match, for that matter – analysis. No replays either.
    3. The pre-match analysis has too many people, and hardly any voice can be made out. It is particularly tragic that the sane and knowledgable voices are drowned out by people that obviously know very little about the sport.
    4. And speaking of analysis, it only started on the first set of matches of group D, a full 3 days into the tournament, where they chose to ignore any views and analyses of games like Germany Portugal, or Russia v Czech Republic.
    5. Particularly harrowing has been the advertising. With only two sponsors and no half-time or full-time analysis, the audience has been bludgeoned by corporate interests, to the point that Belgian chocolate wali Magnum has been etched on the inside of my skull. One cannot expect to show just four or five ads for 15 minutes straight! let alone during the match. Particularly brazen have been the shots of the ‘analysts’ drinking Pepsi on set.
    6. Speaking of which, the bobbing heads of the camera crew have not been a particular pleasure to watch.
    7. Nor was the gigantic Windows XP logo and open windows that cut out the coverage over the Portugal v. Czech Republic QF.

    PTV has indeed been improving its coverage over every game. But this improvement has been at the cost of a very passionate and engaged audience. The audience deserves to see good coverage of a tournament that only takes place once every four years, and I, for one, am not patient enough for PTV to make a few bucks along with their ‘learning’ how to broadcast major sporting events. Absolutely atrocious.Recommend

  • http://islamabad fakkanguy

    really hope you’re not serious about ptv acquiring the rights to european league football. that would be a disaster.Recommend

  • Emad

    Couldn’t agree more. What’s more astonishing is the fact that they’ve made ‘basic’ broadcasting mistakes for an event they must have paid millions to acquire the rights for. I mean, whatever happened to the ‘research before investment’ phenomena?!

    While, something is better than nothing as far as live telecast sports in Pakistan are concerned, we can only hope PTV learns and eliminates these blunders in future. Recommend

  • Abdullah Khan

    Agree with whatever is said. Must give them credit though for letting us watch the tournament when no other channel on the cable has acquired rights to one of the greatest sporting events.

    Much improvement needed though.
    -We can’t hear the crowd during the match like football games on any other channel. All quiet and just the commentators and it gets boring after a time especially when you are watching teams like France and Spain.

    -No half-time analysis or highlights.

    -Don’t show the players warming up before the match or even the anthems (best part of international matches) in the start of the match. Even when the match ends, they quickly switch to ads as if its a cricket match and the over has just ended. They don’t even let you watch the players applauding the crowd or exchanging jerseys etc.

    -Commentators need to speak clearly and make themselves audible to the viewers rather than chat in different tones as if they are sitting in their drawing rooms.

    Good effort overall though. Long way to go.Recommend

  • Bubloo

    Sky Sports Rocks ! Recommend

  • SM

    A lot of our state owned things have become hopeless, be it an the latest line up of our cricket team or the national channel, which you can supposedly rely on. You would hope that when they set out to do something different they would at least pretend to try! PTV, if you’re going to ‘try’ again, please attempt to make you attempt believable!Recommend

  • Fafa14

    the worst part is that they show club football in their beginning theme song! the world knows Euro 2012 is an international tournament. and getting the rights for epl will be a disaster. they wont be showing two matches simultaneously, one match at a time.. Recommend

  • ammar ahmed

    Faseeh what u have written is completely logical becoz ptv is a relatively new channel and taking the responsibilty of airing a tournament such as the euros is an enormous task…. but wht ptv did is unacceptable, why because all eyes were on ptv and they did an amateur job the first 3 days were an utter diagrace considering the popularity of the tlournament and ppl who say they atleast broadcasted it r wrong bcoz if ptv dint broadcast it a competitor wud have …. the thing tht troubles me the most is the fact tht ptv will b broadcasting the epl… my 1st question is wht will they do wen. There r 2 matches on simutaneously … i would never watch it on their other channel namely ptv home the picture qquality is disastrous considering the technological aage v r in let alone hd tht is quality from yester years… either ptv shud work on their programminf or its back rro internet streams and expensive set top boxes , I M ALREADY considering alternativea….

    Well written mr mangi this issue was a mjor 1 for all sporta fans….Recommend

  • Anam

    Great article, however I think it is a little harsh, bearing in mind the lack of experience PTV has had in showing football matches. No amount of research can surpass the glitches and flaws experienced during actual broadcasting. But yes the timer and the score card seem to be minor details which some pre-thinking and research would have avoided.

    In my opinion nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. So here is hoping for a better broadcast next time!Recommend

  • Zaigham

    They are interchanging home and away teams after half time…..and they are the only channel to show half number,(1, 2) on the far left.Recommend

  • pakistani

    its their first broadcast of any international football even i hope they will learn with passage of time..Recommend

  • AM

    Umm. Am I the only one getting NEO Sports on his cable? I watched the first 60 seconds of Day 1 on PTV. The colors were too dull to enjoy. Flipped through the channels and came across some random Indian Channel on my cable: NEO! Better colors, better quality, crappy ads, crappy analysis. But at least I get to watch uninterrupted Football. God Bless India for creating NEORecommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Oh please. I saw the matches on Neo Prime and trust me, it was a bigger failure. Cut PTV some slack with Euro 2012. Soon enough, they will know how to capitalize.Recommend

  • MB

    Its unfortunate that a channel with so much history and prestige is continuously failing to meet its viewer’s expectations. “Entertainment” is whatever brings money in at the expense of quality. If youre going to take the responsibility of airing such a big international event then at least cover all your bases. Disappointing.Recommend

  • http://www.elucidations.org Abu Bakr

    Spoke my mindRecommend

  • Shahrukh kazmi

    Please Try to Appreciate something good, right now PTV for me is the best sports channel we have, we don’t have to subscribe for anything and in these few months PTV gave us the coverage of Asia cup, French open, Sri lanka vs Pakistan series, Euro Cup and will gave us the coverage of up coming Wimbledon, please try to be Pakistani for a while.Recommend

  • Irtiza

    @Shahrukh kazmi:
    100% agree with you. We have developed this habbit of criticizing just for the sake of it. I am amzaed at the number of tournaments that PTV is telecasting these days. The other sports channel that we have is good for the promotion of IPL only. Good job PTV!!Recommend

  • SAEEN!

    Saeen tou Saeen, Saeen ka tv channel bhi saeen :P, Recommend

  • Ali

    Atleast PTV is showing some real sport instead of those crappy cricket leagues! Recommend

  • Mohammad

    He means to say why it was not shown by GEO Sports?? Come on Man, I have seen a Football world cup on PTV 10 years back I think.. and it was just awesome. PTV has the most experience people in Pakistan and a small mistake like this doesn’t need this much criticism. You must appreciate them.

    I love PTV as our National Channel, regardless of their content or broadcasting (which is infact always good). Did you ever noticed the accent of News Caster… pure Urdu and fluent unlike many other channels and anchors speak Urdu in very disgraced way…. copying TV channel Style. Recommend

  • Zuhair

    PTV has aired Euro before as well. It is not the first time. And they are doing a pretty good job at it. I am not complaining.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I can’t believe so many people are defending PTV. I never thought I’d see the day. I have come to realize that posters will disagree with anything written on the Tribune. If someone writes a blog about how the sun rises in the east, people will argue that it actually rises in the west.

    PTV has huge funding and a long history. We should hold it up to standards of excellence rather than make excuses for them!Recommend

  • Sherry

    @Saim Saeed:
    Agree with u on the pre-match analysis thing dude! I don’t know what those ‘burgers’ are trying to do during the transmission?? Showing off muscles and praising a third class team that didn’t even finish in top 6 this season! Seems as if there are parties amongst more than half a dozen people (sigh!!!) and they are trying to take away the hosting for EPL season by making fun of each other. Its ridiculous when they make stupid faces to show their stupid reactions!! We have seen Emad hosting a sports show on DawnNews and Adeel (the famous RJ on FM107) is known for his knowledge on various topics including sports. He did a wonderful job with World Cup transmission 2 years ago and is actually the only person on the set who allows Kashif to speak! We have been watching football on satellite channels since long but 8 people talking simultaneously!!! Thats too much for a sensible viewer!

    Hope anyone at PTV gets a chance to read the blog and your comments Saim!Recommend

  • Sherry

    @Saim Saeed:
    Agree with u on the pre-match analysis thing dude! I don’t know what those ‘burgers’ are trying to do during the transmission?? Showing off muscles and praising a third class team that didn’t even finish in top 6 this season! Seems as if there are parties amongst more than half a dozen people (sigh!!!) and they are trying to take away the hosting for EPL season by making fun of each other. Its ridiculous when they make stupid faces to show their stupid reactions!! We have seen Emad hosting a sports show on DawnNews and Adeel, the famous RJ on FM107 is known for his knowledge on various topics including sports. He did a wonderful job with World Cup transmission 2 years ago and is actually the only person on the set who allows Kashif to speak! We have been watching football on satellite channels since long but 8 people talking simultaneously!!! Thats too much for a sensible viewer! Hope anyone at PTV gets a chance to read the blog and your comments Saim!Recommend

  • AM

    Wish ET would add a ‘Thumbs down’ option too for all the commentsRecommend

  • Sherry

    @Saim Saeed:
    Agree with u on the pre-match analysis thing! I don’t know what those mummy-daddies are trying to do during the transmission? Showing off muscles and praising a team that didn’t even finish in top 6 this season! Seems as if there are parties amongst more than half a dozen people (sigh!!!) and they are trying to take away the hosting for EPL season by making fun of each other. Its ridiculous when they make stupid faces to show their reactions!! We have seen Emad hosting a sports show on DawnNews and Adeel, the famous RJ on FM107 is known for his knowledge on various topics including sports. He did a wonderful job with World Cup transmission 2 years back and is actually the only person on the set who allows Kashif to speak. We have been watching football on satellite channels since long but 8 people talking simultaneously!!! Thats too much for a sensible viewer! Hope anyone at PTV gets a chance to read the blog and your comments Saim!Recommend

  • Sherry

    Hate wenever I see this ET: “Your comment is awaiting moderation”Recommend

  • Ali

    Okay a little off topic, but does anyone know the name of the song they play right after the matches and at the beginning of every commercial? Recommend

  • Kabu

    PTV all the way :) no complainsss keep it up…. but i want premier league as well start working on that after euros.Recommend

  • http://glenns-busy-corner.blogspot.com/ Glenn Ryall

    I think PTV done a good overall job with the broadcast, few glitches were there but then we live in a country dominated by Cricket which seriously speaking I have lost interest in.

    I hope they improve over time and start broadcasting the premier league as well when it starts. Fingers crossed.Recommend

  • DilJala

    Qutub Malla – one of the ‘experts’ on panel
    Bilal Malla – one of the winner of the competition

    :D :D :D

    hukoomat-e-Pakistan k logo ki tarha hukoomat k channel pr baith kr bhi mil baant kar khao! :D :D geo malla log :p :pRecommend

  • Mourinho

    after watching (read pathetic) euro transmission who is going to watch EPL on PTV? Not me!Recommend

  • jawad butt

    All Extremly straight forwrd wordings above…. but mostly in positive dimension(gud for channel)
    Adeel im folowng u since w.cup 2006. ur 1st season with PTV was outstanding.But ur this euro analysis seems nowhere ,regarding knlowdge u gave in 2006.. this is only because of mob ptv has created during analysis.. i prefer “YOUR” quality not “THIER” quantity.

    At this stage I canot rate PTV as high profile sports channel, but i can expect in future.. atleas ptv catches viewers othr thn the fans of AFRIDI, AJMAL nd MOHAMAD AMIR.

    I realy believe in PTV sports, thy can bring sports in pakistan “other thn cricket” from lower level to higher levels.

    Premier league will be according to viewers expectations. im hoping…
    I dont believe I shud suggest what PTV shud do wht not toThey hve thier own standards, management, quality people, they know what to do,to bring even much better quality and standard.Recommend